Christianity celebrates the common humanity of men and women, but also rejoices and allows for difference.
Romance withers in the face of modernity, but justice dies if romance rules. This side of paradise men and women must live justly, but also allow for the romance that creates healthy human beings. Man as man and woman as woman each have an irreplaceable role in the order of things.
Wise Americans will take joy in sameness and difference.
When the law tried to enforce different treatment between men and women, it was unjust. Likewise, if it tried to mandate that in private or religious life they be treated as interchangeable, then it would be profoundly wrong.
Healthy cultures celebrate differences while protecting basic human rights.
Each individual human person is unique, but each person is part of humanity created in God’s image. Christian civilization has preserved both truths. Justice demands equal treatment, love demands unique treatment. Christianity balances love and justice.
Religion reminds us that the happy fiction of full “equality” between humans is good and necessary for government, but cannot govern all of life. People are not numbers. There must be equality before the law, because the government cannot be trusted with the arbitrary powers of love, mercy, and grace.
Christian civilization slowly has recognized that when it comes to life, liberty, and human flourishing each person is the same. However, that does not mean that all roles in a culture must be the same, because not all of human life is comprised of law.
Love knows nothing of “equality.” The lover will do for his beloved what he would never do for anyone else. He voluntarily and extravagantly grants his beloved what he justly could not be forced to give anyone else.
The parent who gives more time to his children, because they are his children, acts lovingly and not based on some external measure of equality.
In the same way, the church acts out a great drama where men and women are allowed to be themselves. No man can be a mother and no woman can be a father. If a technological society can help us forget this difference, then theater, including the theater of the church liturgy, reminds us of it.
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And from The Urantia Book:
84:6.3 Male and female are, practically regarded, two distinct varieties of the same species living in close and intimate association. Their viewpoints and entire life reactions are essentially different; they are wholly incapable of full and real comprehension of each other. Complete understanding between the sexes is not attainable.
From THE PARTNERSHIP OF MAN AND WOMAN
Please see our topical study on "Gender Equality"